Strategy

20th July 2017

Daily Exercise

How common place is it today to see people exercising? All sorts of shapes, sizes, abilities are regularly to be observed, frequently squeezed into unflattering lycra as they dutifully pound the streets of our cities, the lanes of our countryside or the thousands of gyms that have sprung up. Hordes  of folk in brightly coloured trainers, on bicycles, solo or in packs dressed appropriately or not, they are out there maintaining the body they were given; enhancing and prolonging its useful life. It is all very laudable, necessary and uplifting.

Our bodies are not the only, or the most amazing gift we have been bestowed. What about our brain, our mind, our ability to think? I wonder how many of us take the exercising of that part of ourselves so seriously?

I posted an article on social media recently which stated that people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett spend an inordinate amount of time reading. Here is a short extract.

• Warren Buffett spends five to six hours a day reading five newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports.

 

• Bill Gates reads 50 books a year.

 

• Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks.

 

• Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day, according to his brother.

 

• Mark Cuban reads for more than three hours every day.

 

• Arthur Blank, a cofounder of Home Depot, reads two hours a day.

 

• Billionaire entrepreneur David Rubenstein reads six books a week.

 

• Dan Gilbert, the self-made billionaire who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, reads for one to two hours a day.

The article argued that we should each take at least five hours a week and devote it to reading. It is only my perspective but I feel that exercising the brain is just as important as exercising the body.

For many people leaving full time education is the end of developing our mental competences, and yet as the world gets ever more complex and change crashes on at breakneck speed we become ever more redundant and outdated if we don’t or can’t keep up.

If we are no better today than we were yesterday, we are, in fact, moving backwards and at a rapid rate. I am not simply talking about our ability to deal with technology. If our people skills are no better than they were when we left the schoolyard, is it any wonder that we have problems managing, leading and motivating people?

If our communication skills are no more advanced than they were in secondary school where are we likely to get stuck? If our world picture isn’t full, balanced and complex how can we properly deal with a world that is.

Ironically exercising the brain is easy. It takes no more effort to read an educational book than it does to watch a soap or go on the X Box. There are literally millions to choose from. They are readily available, across lots of media formats and are very cheap if not free. Why wouldn’t you make that part of your daily exercise routine?